May 18, 2024

Edo APC Primary: Uzodinma Lack Power To Announce Result – Uwadiae

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By Simeon OSAJIE

The Edo State Publicity of All Progressives Congress (APC),
Peter Uwadiae Esq. has described the declaration of Hon. Dennis Idahosa, member representing Ovia Federal Constituency at the National as Edo APC flagbearer by Hope Uzodinma, Imo Governor and Chairman, Electoral Committee as laughable as the law does not give him the power to do so.

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Barr. Uwadiae disclosed this in an interview with newsmen after the declaration of Senator Monday Okpebholo popularly called ‘Akpakomiza’ winner of APC governorship primary by Edo State Returning Officer, Dr. Stanley Ugboajah.

Earlier, a statement in Abuja by Mr. Felix Morka, the ruling party’s national publicity secretary insisted that the Governor Uzodinma-led Edo State APC Governorship Primary Committee was duly authorized to undertake final collation and announcement of results of the primary in the state.

Uwadiae, the state publicity secretary of APC however disagreed with his national counterpart, insisting in a swift counter statement in Benîn that being on the ground, he is in a better position to explain the reality of the situation., which, of course, clearly favoured Senator Monday Okpebholo.

Curiously, the ruling party National Publicity Secretary said that the live broadcast of the result by Dr. Ugboajah, who was duly appointed as the Chief Returning Officer by the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on major national television stations and online news outlets was unauthorized.

Morka emphasized: “We wish to state categorically that only the Governor Hope Uzodinma-led Edo State APC Governorship Primary Election Committee is duly authorized to undertake final collation and announcement of results of the Primary Election in the state. We urge all party members, officials in the state, and the general public to disregard the said announcement of results by these unauthorized persons.”

Prince Uwadiae however countered, noting that trouble started during the collation and announcement of results with Senator Okpebholo in clear lead in eight local government areas.

According to him, thugs allegedly commissioned by one of the losing aspirants, stormed the venue of the state collation and disrupted the process by beating up collation officials/representatives of the APC NWC, who were simply carrying out their legitimate duties.

He said that the conduct of Governor Uzodinma was most embarrassing, unfortunate and bizarre as he abandoned them, instead of sympathizing with the returning officers.

Continuing, he alleged that the Imo State governor singlehandedly relocated the collation center upon learning that his preferred aspirant wasn’t winning and then unilaterally assumed the role of the state’s returning officer without recourse to inputs from the local government collation agents as well as the chief returning officer of the exercise.

He said: “In desperation, he (Uzodinma) shamelessly appointed one Charity Amayaenvbo, the campaign manager of Hon. Dennis Idahosa to read the results from a piece of paper.

“As the Chairman of APC Governor’s Forum, one would have expected him to retain his status as an umpire, to sue for peace, and not to grossly abuse and ridicule the privilege of his exalted office. Recall that some aspirants had earlier protested his appointment as chairman of this committee.”

Nonetheless, Prince Igbinigie explained that after normalcy was restored at the recognized collation centre with the local government area returning officers and representatives from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the results were declared by Dr. Ugboajah, whose responsibility it is to carry out this function as follows:

“Sen. Monday Okpevbolo: 12,145 votes

Hon. Dennis Idahosa: 5,536 votes

Mr. Afolabi Umakhihe: 2,090 votes

Gen. Charles Arhiavbere: 919 votes

Dr. Blessing Agbomere: 834 votes

Sen. Oserieme Osunbor: 688 votes

Col. David Imuse: 507 votes

“Therefore, it is the desire of the state working committee to reiterate that Sen. Monday Okpevbolo is the duly elected gubernatorial candidate of our great party for the September 2024 governorship election.”

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